Christmas Tales

A quick scan of the 'Julafton' press reveals Swedes' changing attitudes towards Christmas.

Record Christmas sales disappoint stores

Swedes have spent more on Christmas presents than ever before – but it’s still less than analysts were expecting. According to DN, the Swedish Research Institute of Trade had predicted a 3.7% increase on last year’s sales. But the rise was only 2.5%.

Seven die in holiday traffic

Friday’s Expressen – as many other papers – reported that seven people died in yesterday’s Christmas traffic. Last year only ten people died in road accidents over the whole Christmas holiday and yesterday’s total equals the start of the worst ever Christmas for traffic in 1999. More rain is expected in the middle and south of the country, while hard winds will make driving conditions tough in the north.

Ducking out of festivities

“Kalle Anka”, known to the English-speaking world as Donald Duck, is required viewing for many Swedes at 3pm on Christmas Eve. But according to Scandinavian media analysts MMS, the number of viewers are falling each year. In 1997 over 4 million tuned in to Ferdinand the Bull, Jiminy Cricket, Snow White and co, but by last year that had fallen to 3.4 million.

Charlotte Hagström, ethnologist and archivist at Lund University, said that young people don’t have the same relationship with the programme as older generations and that it could be on its way out.

Swedes head south for Christmas

More Swedes than ever are leaving Sweden for Christmas, according to DN. Half a million Swedes swapped snow and candles for sun and beaches in December 2001, but by last year that had risen to over 700,000. This is expected to be even higher as grotty weather has Swedes picking up last minute deals to sunnier climes.

The Local will be back on December 27th, but in the meantime, why not try our Tricky Christmas Quiz? Click on the link to the left!